Everyday Heroes: Mohammed Salim Patel
Mohammed Salim Patel is a broadcast journalist with the BBC from Blackburn and he is also registered blind. He has been coaching visually impaired cricket for two years and got re-involved following University having always been engaged in sport throughout his youth. When he returned home through his research he discovered the Lancashire Lions visually impaired cricket club.
“My first real interactions with visually impaired cricket was through a coaching course. I think possibly the best way to get involved in something is looking at how it is coached. As well as then seeing what being on the receiving end is like… I fell in love with it and realised that this was something I really enjoyed doing.”
Mohammed holds a Lancashire Cricket board qualification to coach visually impaired cricket to people who want to get involved. He heard about the course through Galloway’s Society for the Blind. Mohammed uses this qualification to coach taster sessions around the North West to people who want to learn more about the game.
“What helps me personally is because I am also visually impaired I can relate to the questions and queries that the people I coach have. I always put myself in their shoes first and then as myself as a coach.”
For Mohammed the benefits of being a coach are apparent. “There aren’t many negatives otherwise I wouldn’t do it. The positives outweigh the negatives. I get so much out of it and hopefully the people that I coach do to… Within the community of visual impairment people tend to be isolated and sometimes people only get own through attending a session. What I enjoy the most is seeing participants happy, and building up a social life.”
Mohammed would encourage everyone to give it a go. “There is a need for more people with disabilities to get involved in all sports. Both sighted and not… Don’t hesitate to think about the things stopping you, whether that’s be a disability or something else. If it is something that you want to do, something that you enjoy or think you would enjoy then the best thing to do is get out there. There are lots of organisations and charities to help you take those steps.”
Mohammed’s constant guide when coaching is enjoyment. “I may be blind but I have a vision and I want to share that vision with the people I work with. If I can do that through coaching by showing people that anything is possible then that is my job done.”
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